Tag Archives: Greatest Generation

Small Town Life – That soon after…

Before this spring, I had never lost a close blood relative. I’ve lost a few married in aunts or uncles or great-grandparents but I had never lost a grandparent, parent, sibling or blood uncle or aunt. 10390152_10201961948915249_5587956195571053357_nThis spring, my grandfather died. And like in so many cases of long lasting love, my grandmother had a stroke not 2 months after he was in the ground – and on Mother’s Day no less. I came right away and although she was still living, she was in a vegetative state and I don’t know if she knew I was in the room or not. I talked to her, showed her the new baby, cried and then… well, what more could I do accept support my mother and uncles. If their reactions to her state and eventual death are any indication, she was a great mother. I have had 35 years to know this but their mourning was such a reminder of what a great person she was.

Death comes unexpectedly.

375664_3680694093333_683736386_nWhen I got here to the house, I got out of the car and was overwhelmed by the smell that reminded me of my grandfather, his lawnmower and his cars that were in pristine condition.

Grandma’s laundry was still in the drier. I folded it and put in her drawers.

Her kids had each sent her a Mother’s Day flower arrangement and they were still on the counters of her kitchen. She only got to enjoy them for mere hours before she collapsed from the stroke and never again opened her eyes to see anything around her.

Dad and I were deciding what to make for dinner and found food that needed to be thrown out but he didn’t want to because “It’s Mom’s kitchen.” But Dad, she’s not coming back to clean it out. Just throw it. What will she care? We are the ones eating out of this fridge and cooking in this kitchen. But it’s so strange to think that because she was here less than 24 hours ago assuming she would be the one cooking and now, she will never come back to this food she bought.

Her computer was littered with sticky notes in her handwriting indicating logins and passwords for the accounts she had set up after grandpa couldn’t pay bills anymore.

Her purse was still out ready to go to the store.

Her cell phone was plugged in on the counter and it went off every few hours with Facebook alerts, news bulletins and messages from people who didn’t know her condition.

The house phone rang and I answered it. It was pest control. I was amazed that life could go on when she was in the hospital – dying. The pest control lady didn’t know but shouldn’t the whole world go on hold while grandma took her last breaths?10346211_10202538507801317_3230551687894962794_n

But it doesn’t.

That’s what I learned.

No matter how good or bad a person you were in life, your passing will not stop earth from turning. Family will mourn you and your life will have had an effect on everyone – good or bad. Family will sit by your bedside and hang on every breath – hoping that you will get better or just die because they can’t take seeing you suffer. The guilt of hoping for a swift death will weigh on everyone – no matter their connection to you.

But the world goes on no matter what. I keep on doing the laundry here at her house. My mom and uncle water the plants. We fill the refrigerator and continue to use grandma’s house while we plan a memorial service and wait by her bedside for her to die or get better.

And then… she’s gone. And she’s not coming back here to this house. She will never sit in her rose garden again and she will never watch Jeopardy and mumble the answers under her breath. But we will remember all this about her – and talk about it someday without weeping – and live our lives because… what else can we do?

10171858_10202457639459659_4574457868474184190_n*all images came from her facebook page

Small Town Living – Generation Wise

When I was struggling, I was in MOPS and a small group. They were both different. MOPS is moms mostly of the sameish age who support each other and it’s great. images (3)The small group was mostly made up of women who’s children were between high school age and my age. They were old enough to be my mother. I was the baby of the group at 32. But when I needed people to say that my life was going to be ok, it was the small group women – who had been through cancer, divorce, pain, loss, life – who I believed.

Here in this town, there is a small university with a couple of professors who have been stirring up stuff. They give lectures that glamorize the 60’s and the free love movement. However, there aredownload (1) people who lived through that time and were hard working, real people who remember the riots and the disease and the terror. Those small town people tell me about the reality of the 60’s in this town and I believe them more than any imported professor from New York or Boston. Sorry….

My mother had polio. Grandmother had it as well.
They know what the fear of that disease was like. They know how detrimental the recovery was. They know what it means for a preventable disease to be eradicated.

My clients often are those who lived through the depression. They know what a REAL depression is like. Learning From HistoryThey understand what it is to have a job and make money and support a family because work is available. They are not entitled.

In my small town world, experience matters. In my mind, those who have gone before are the only ones to be believed. Sometimes, it’s hard because you can’t get them to figure out the remote or their phone but they are Generation Wise. That matters more.

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*All Images Found on Google